South Carolina’s top business group wants Sen. Tim Scott to defy President Trump by voting down his pick to run the Export-Import Bank.
The S.C. Chamber of Commerce sent Scott a letter Friday asking him to oppose former U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett's nomination to run the agency. In Congress, Garrett sought to shutter the agency, which offers loan guarantees to foreign buyers of American-made products.
"The Export-Import Bank is a vital tool to keep and grow manufacturing jobs in South Carolina and the United States," wrote Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the South Carolina chamber. "The Ex-Im board needs a leader that believes in the bank's mission and has a consistent, proven track record when it comes to understanding Ex-Im's key role in supporting American jobs."
Garrett — and the role of the Ex-Im Bank — has divided Republicans since Trump tapped him for the job in May. The bank is generally supported by business groups and opposed by small-government conservatives.
His nomination will be considered Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Scott, a Charleston Republican, is South Carolina's only representative on the committee.
Garrett's nomination has been especially opposed by manufacturing groups that see the agency as a key to making the U.S. competitive in the global market. Among the largest users of the bank is Boeing, which makes 787 Dreamliners in North Charleston, largely for foreign buyers.